Take 5 For Mental Health
February 12-15th is Maynooth Students' Union WellFest. MSU WellFest aims to promote positive awareness and discussion around the areas of mental and physical health. To mark the occasion we asked Maynooth students to share their experiences in relation to Mental health. Here, Aubrey Clark relates her 6 Tips for breaking your mental health's toxic cycle.
Take 5 For Mental Health
- Niamh Murray.
To Celebrate the ‘WellFest’ an event MSU run to promote personal awareness and a positive mindset, I will be discussing the overall ‘Stigma’ around Mental Health and providing tips on how to maintain a positive and healthy mind. Just remember everyone at sometime in their lives has battled with their own Mental Health because as they say ‘Nobody is perfect in this world we live in’
This topic can sometimes be the 'elephant' in the room for some people, a problem not wanting to be addressed because others will see them as ‘weird’ or ‘weak’ I know myself I have struggled with my own Mental Health with severe anxiety in school where it came to stage of not wanting to leave my bed because I was so nervous of what the day would bring.
Now since coming to Maynooth University last year I feel healthy with my own Mental Health and I am growing to understand my inner self and my thoughts. Since transitioning into college I have adapted a better mindset to life and try to be a positive person when it comes to dealing with exam stress and overall life stresses that used to get me down previously. I want to ask everyone reading this to please be more open-minded to Mental Health and if a friend needs help don't sit back and do nothing. Talk to them, let them share their story. Be that friend that listens.
Your Mental Health should be a number one priority especially in college when you are figuring out who you are and who you want to be. Here are few tips to help maintain a positive and healthy mindset:
- Positivity is Key.
I know sometimes it can be extremely hard to see the good from the bad but by adapting a positive mindset to certain situations it can only help you to stay happy while also opening doors for you to grow as a person from life experiences. From my own experience I was always very negative when something bad happened or when a plan didn't go my way and I would get angry and this would make the issue worse. Try and see the best in bad situations. If it wasn't meant to be try and see it as positive message that only good things are coming and not to dwell on issues or failures.
It is important to open up to others and keep in touch with trusted companions that understand you. Friends and Family can make you feel included and cared for. Don’t be afraid to open up to people, one of the best things you can do is just let all your feelings and worries out because I know for me It can be a sense of release and relief. Battling your thoughts alone is never the answer. Always talk about how you feel.
- Keep Active.
Proven by Science, exercise releases chemicals in your brain that make you feel good. The Maynooth University Gym is free, why not give it a go or Get out for a walk with friends. Why not even put on some music and dance! Get moving and you will feel so much better mentally and physically.
- Drink Sensibly.
I know sometimes the college lifestyle can also be linked to a heavy drink culture but take it easy, alcohol is a depressant. It may make you feel better temporarily but in the long term it can worsen your mood.
- Take Time for yourself.
Personally, this tip is a big one, sometimes I know life can be so busy that we never get to take time out to do things we love doing. Make time for your hobbies. For me, Music has always been my escape from the stress of Life. I would advise anyone to listen to your favourite music, it helps you to focus on something you enjoy rather than overthinking about your problems. If you are looking for something to wind down from the stress of life, Taking a bath is good to just sit back and relax.
I hope from reading these five tips that is gives someone comfort in knowing that there is always help out there and to never forget to look after ‘you’.
You are not alone, every once in a while everyone has gone through rocky stages with their Mental Health. Mental Health is a struggle within itself with dealing with issues whether its body image, depression or anxiety we all have our own insecurities. None of us are Superhuman. If things are getting too much for you and you feel you can’t cope, ask for help. You would help a friend if they asked.Don’t let the ‘Stigma’ hold you back from being who you want to be.
About Niamh: "Currently studying Media and Business at Maynooth University. Obsessed with Fashion and Music while I also have an interest in reading blogs and writing for my personal blog ‘fashion follows’ on a weekly basis. I like to keep up with all the latest in celebrity culture and fashion news." More of her articles can be found here.
More about Mental Health: http://msu.ie/welfare/mental-health.html